Leftover Olive Brine Can Give A Tangy, Creamy Kick To Deviled Eggs

It's hard to think of a more iconic Southern appetizer than deviled eggs, and there are about as many recipes for them as there are grannies south of the Mason-Dixon line. These bite-sized treats consist of hard-boiled eggs with yolks that have been removed, whipped, then added back in. And, the recipes for this snack tray staple can range from simple to sophisticated.

The "devil" part of deviled eggs doesn't have nefarious origins. Rather, it refers to the traditionally spicy ingredients — usually mustard and pepper — that are added to a basic deviled egg recipe. After mixing mustard, salt, paprika, and mayonnaise with egg yolks, you can let your imagination run wild. Country music superstar Trisha Yearwood adds pickle relish to her deviled eggs. Rachael Ray's deviled eggs get a hit of salty umami flavor from anchovy paste. Sandra Gutierrez, cooking instructor and author of "The New Southern-Latino Table," draws flavors from south of the border by adding jalapeños and cilantro to her deviled eggs.

There's one other ingredient that really shines when mixed into deviled eggs — and there's a good chance you already have it in your fridge. Not only is it extra delicious when mixed into creamy egg yolks, but it's also a way to use up something you might dump down the drain otherwise.

Olive brine imparts extra salt content and flavor

Try mixing some olive brine into your egg yolks next time you whip up a tray of deviled eggs. Olive brine refers to the salty water used to help preserve the olives in jars or cans. Adding olive brine to deviled eggs' filling not only helps loosen up the cooked egg yolks, making them much easier to pipe, but it can also help impart the flavor of whatever was kept in the brine itself. Garlic-stuffed olives equals garlicky olive-flavored brine. Jalapeño-stuffed olive brine will give you a spicy kick. Pimento-stuffed olives lend a sweet note to their brine, and brine from a jar of olives stuffed with Marcona almonds gives a nice, subtle nuttiness. 

Olive brine is especially useful if you want to kick the luxury level of your recipe up a few notes. Consider adding the brine to your yolk mixture, then topping the deviled eggs with a bit of caviar. Salinity from olive brine helps highlight the saltiness of the caviar, keeping the dish flavorful and luxurious — but still easy to make! The next time you finish some olives, save the juice from the olive jar. Beyond this tip, there are so many other things you can do with it, such as marinating meats, infusing hummus, or finishing off a long week with a classic dirty martini